Sri Sathya Sai Addresses the International Conference on ‘Strengthening Values in Education’ - Part 2

The Valedictory Function of the Conference was held in Sai Kulwant Hall, on 29th, at 7.20 am. Dr. Jumsai expressed gratitude to Bhagavan for His Blessings and Guidance. After that, Ms. Himela Bahadur Singh from Canada, Mr. Tom Scovill from USA and Dr. Roger Packham from Australia, presented the summary of the deliberation of the Conference. Dr. A. Parasuramen of Mauritius read out the Prasanthi Nilayam Declaration. 

Bhagavan then delivered His Valedictory Address and clarified the questions asked by some of the delegates.

"Every house is a centre of human values. It is from the house that the human values originate, blossom and foster the sacred culture. The person presiding over the house is known as Grihastha (householder). Since ancient times, Indians have attached great significance to the stage of a householder among the four, namely, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa (celibate, householder, recluse and renunciant).

When a student takes to wrong path, he ruins himself, whereas if a teacher takes to wrong ways, he will be ruining the lives of hundreds of students. Hence a teacher, on whom lies the responsibility of moulding the careers of students, must cultivate virtues and lead an ideal life. Today, there is certainly no dearth of teachers, endowed with the spirit of sacrifice and leading ideal lives. But there are some teachers who have become slaves to vices like drinking and smoking. Naturally, the students emulate them and ruin their lives. If the country is to progress, teachers should mould the students as ideal citizens. The whole world will prosper, when students tread along the right path. Hence it is essential on the part of a teacher, whom the students are bound to emulate, to cultivate virtues.

The Teacher Must Have A Pure Heart And Virtues

A teacher can be compared to a water tank and students to taps connected to it. As is the water in the tank, so is the water that comes from the taps. Therefore, the teacher must have a pure heart and virtues like adherence to truth, good conduct, duty, devotion and discipline, so that he can impart the same to the students. He or she alone is a teacher in the true sense,  who imparts these virtues to the students. He or she alone is a student in the true sense, who cultivates these sacred qualities. If the teachers are ideal, the system of education too would be ideal. If the teacher does not possess moral, ethical and spiritual values, the entire system of education will go astray. Today we find some instances wherein the husband and wife part ways with each other due to some differences of opinion though they may be highly educated and occupying positions of authority. The reason is that they are not educated in the true sense but merely have acquired bookish knowledge. Mere bookish knowledge is no knowledge at all. Students should learn true knowledge, which bestows divine energy; they should not be satisfied with mere bookish knowledge, which becomes ‘allergy.’  This divine energy fosters harmony, coordination and integration and makes the students
ideal citizens...

A Teacher Should Have Steady Mind
A teacher is like a guidepost. He or she should guide the students in the proper direction. If the guidepost itself is loose, how can it point to the right direction? So, a teacher should have a steady mind. Only then can he guide the students along the right path. He should impart to the students, the human values of Satya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa. Many are confused as to what is the foremost value among these five. Love is of paramount importance among the human values. It is in us right from the time of our birth. Love and respect your parents, relatives, friends and your fellow-beings. When you do not respect others, how can you expect others to respect you? Give respect and take respect. It is not one-way traffic. There are a very few who would impart such sacred teachings to the students. Not only the teachers but also the parents should monitor the behaviour and activities of their children. Some students hide novels among textbooks and read them. The parents should take note of this and take necessary action. Parents have every right to punish their children if they take to wrong ways. The children should show gratitude to their parents as they owe their food, blood, head and money to their parents. Due to the impact of Kali Age, such sense of gratitude is missing among students. The Vedas declare to revere mother, father, teacher and guest as God. These teachings are highly sacred. Today people are ready to believe all that they see on television and internet but do not repose their faith in the Vedic declarations. Internet is like a waste paper basket. Follow the ‘inner-net,’ not the internet. Today the students are developing unsacred vision, thus polluting their minds. As is the seed, so is the sapling. As is the food, so is the belch. Likewise, as is the action, so is the result. So, you should think good, speak good, hear good, do good and experience good results. Teachers should impart such sacred teachings to the students. They should inculcate the spirit of selfless love in them...

Do Not Try To Manipulate Others
If human values are not there, humanity will be destroyed. Our life itself is human value. The organizers have been trying hard for the spread of human values in education. Please extend all your cooperation. Without encouragement they become weak. There are people from many countries assembled here. You will return. What is it that you are taking back with you? Carry with you at least one or two human values. If you go to the market, wander through it all and return empty-handed, is it a great thing? Having come to Prasanthi Nilayam, take back something valuable with you. There is Bliss here, enjoy it, take it with you and make others happy, make the whole world happy. Never be selfish. Share what you know with all you come in contact. Cooperate with everybody. Instead of cooperating, people merely operate, try to manipulate. Do not try to manipulate others. Only co-operate. You can achieve your objectives.

There are some questions I would like to answer.

Q1. Swami, please enlighten us how to maintain balance of the five elements by the practice of human values in a practical way. What is the practical procedure?

In human values we have the term EHV. In these three letters I have already enlightened you on what is education. Consider it as 3 HV, i.e., Heart, Head and Hand. The harmony between these three is 3HV. We say Proper study of mankind is Man. Head, heart and hands should co-operate and function in harmony. There is no human value greater than this. This can be taught easily. It is like teaching physical drill. Do not try to mystify the expression EHV and indulge in elaborate propaganda. Thought, word and deed must be the same. If this is not, these human values will disappear. Hence this harmony, this unity is essential. Lincoln is the best example for this. He thought of what he said; adhered to what he professed; and, finally, achieved what he believed. Hence this threefold unity is essential; otherwise humanity is lost. Hence, you must propagate this easy way. EHV is education in human values. All these are important. The thought, word and deed must be the same. Without this one ceases to be human. This is how you have to propagate.

Q2. Swami, you have said skill the education. How does one skill the education?

Education must be made into skill. The imbalance caused by the external education is balanced by the skill of human values and thus the imbalance is corrected and balance restored. By skill Bhagawan means Naipunya Shakti (the keenness of the mind). 
Education is the physical method. When skill and knowledge are joined, the scale becomes balanced. While walking you need balance. Life needs balance. Therefore education should also be balanced. This maintenance of balance is what we mean when we say skill. This is Naipunya Shakti, i.e., investigate, enquire and understand. A simple example: Scientists have understood the internal process of the sun, have studied and evolved many machines and devices from these processes. Understanding the solar process, they even manufactured bombs with similar reactions. How destructive are these bombs? They consider it a great achievement. No. The knowledge should have balance. This is what Bhagawan calls ‘skill.’ 

All your research should result in the welfare of humanity. Then only the beam of the balance is straight. If the research is lopsided concentrating on destruction only, it is imbalanced. We should consider pleasure and pain with equanimity. The results of research should maintain balance between benign and harmful effects. If only the destructive potentials of research are developed, there will be total imbalance. We should try to bring back some balance in all these new technologies, a balance between the harmful and benign consequences. Generation of electricity by various means, if employed for irrigation or village lighting, how beneficial is it! We are not exercising our mind properly on these matters. Hence, we suffer from imbalance. Electricity is beneficial in many ways; lighting, heating, cooling etc. But, if we say to electricity ‘you are such a fine friend of humanity’ and go and touch a live wire, you will be burnt. Every development should be employed within limits, and given due respect. So, as I have explained, when education is united with skill, the balance is restored. When there is imbalance, you look outwards and your inner vision is lost. Insight is vital. When there is balance, this inner vision is restored. Therefore, develop an inner vision that creates the balance. The key words are education, skill and insight. 

Even for meditation, skill is necessary. If you sit still in a quiet corner allowing your mind to wander all over, your meditation is worthless. If you cannot concentrate, you cannot meditate. Thus, for the inner processes, skill is necessary. Concentration has to be cultivated.  Wisdom is the goal of concentration. Wisdom is achieved by the dedication of the fruits of action; by sacrifice, the ultimate is achieved. Hence, Abhyasa, concentration, should be practised with effort. Constant practice therefore is the method.

Q3. Swami , the mass media like radio, video and internet are having more and more effect......

I have already told you about internet, radio, video, etc. We have seen so many people who have been exposed to these media. But, what is their effect? All transient, passing clouds that come and go. It is an utter waste of time. It is all business-oriented. That is not our aim. Do not hanker after internet; turn to the inner-net. Concentrate on inner vision. Sanctify your inner faculties. Then only can you unify and get access to human values. You must keep attempting toward unification; unity is the aim. When you achieve unity how much is your strength magnified? Look at this piece of cloth. It is not cloth, but a conglomeration of threads. The threads are a modification of cotton. Without cotton there is no thread. Without thread, there is no textile. The interwoven threads produce such a strong piece of cloth. When separated the threads are weak and can be snapped with a finger. Their great strength is unity. Human values, when internalized, become a sacred force and manifest as ideals.

Q4. Are devotion and spirituality necessary for a teacher?
Of course, without doubt. A teacher without devotion is worthless. Let him have faith in his chosen faith. Without devotion, he is no teacher. Devotion is necessary. He is in charge of several students. He has to set an ideal for all of them. For this, Divine grace is also necessary. All that you study is only material (inert). You have to convert it into energy. That is divine power. If one does not have this faith he is no teacher. A teacher has to be an ideal for several students. How can he be a model? Like a physical instructor who instructs by doing, he has to teach by being. Devotion has also to be taught by practice. Then it will be imprinted in the minds of the students.

Q5. Swami, increasingly the emphasis on education and academic achievement is gaining importance. Please advise us as to how to bring ‘spirituality’ back into the main stream of education?

Yes, ‘spirituality’ is very necessary in education. This spirituality has to arise from confidence. You must have confidence. If there is no faith you can achieve nothing. Where there is confidence there is Love. Where there is Love, there is Peace. Where there is Peace, there is Truth. Where there is Truth there is Bliss. Where there is Bliss there is God. In fact, without faith you can have no faith even in your mother. There should be confidence. Once you have confidence that a person is your mother, you love her. Confidence leads to love. Love takes you to peace. Peace produces truth and as soon as truth manifests, you achieve bliss. This Bliss is the very God-head itself. So, confidence is a necessary characteristic. It is this loss of confidence that is the cause of lack of spirituality in the world. Therefore this confidence is necessary."

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